Archive for the God's Word Category

Passivity

Posted in God's Word, Life on September 6, 2011 by gregbashore

 

One of the saddest of all the sad stories in the history of the people of God comes shortly after the dramatic Exodus from Egypt, as they stand on the brink of a whole new life in the land God had promised:

But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the LORD your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, “The LORD hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, ‘The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.'” Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you [Not “comfort you.” Not “be with you in your distress, defeated by your enemies.” Fight for you], as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” In spite of this, you did not trust in the LORD your God . . . Then you replied, “We have sinned against the LORD. We will go up and fight, as the LORD our God commanded us.” (Deut. 1:26-41 NIV)

But it was too late. Their decision not to fight is what led to their wandering in the wilderness for forty years. We often cite that part of the story, talking about our own wilderness experiences, embracing the wilderness saga as if it were inevitable. No, that is not the lesson at all. We have forgotten it was avoidable. The reason they took the lamentable detour into the wilderness was because they would not fight. To be more precise, the wilderness was a punishment, the consequence of refusing to trust God, and fight.

(Fathered by God )

What Is Your Image Of Jesus As A Man?

Posted in God's Word, Life on July 18, 2011 by gregbashore

Maybe it would be better to turn our search to the headwaters, to that mighty root from which these branches grow. Who is this One we allegedly come from, whose image every man bears? What is he like? In a man’s search for his strength, telling him that he’s made in the image of God may not sound like a whole lot of encouragement at first. To most men, God is either distant or he is weak-the very thing they’d report of their earthly fathers. Be honest now-what is your image of Jesus as a man? “Isn’t he sort of meek and mild?” a friend remarked. “I mean, the pictures I have of him show a gentle guy with children all around. Kind of like Mother Teresa.” Yes, those are the pictures I’ve seen myself in many churches. In fact, those are the only pictures I’ve seen of Jesus. As I’ve said before, they leave me with the impression that he was the world’s nicest guy. Mister Rogers with a beard. Telling me to be like him feels like telling me to go limp and passive. Be nice. Be swell. Be like Mother Teresa.

I’d much rather be told to be like William Wallace.

(Wild at Heart , 22)

Do Whatever Brings You Back to Your Heart and the Heart of God

Posted in God's Word, Life on May 29, 2011 by gregbashore

Against the flesh, the traitor within, a warrior uses discipline. We have a two-dimensional version of this now, which we call a “quiet time.” But most men have a hard time sustaining any sort of devotional life because it has no vital connection to recovering and protecting their strength; it feels about as important as flossing. But if you saw your life as a great battle and you knew you needed time with God for your very survival, you would do it. Maybe not perfectly-nobody ever does and that’s not the point anyway-but you would have a reason to seek him. We give a halfhearted attempt at the spiritual disciplines when the only reason we have is that we “ought” to. But we’ll find a way to make it work when we are convinced we’re history if we don’t.

Time with God each day is not about academic study or getting through a certain amount of Scripture or any of that. It’s about connecting with God. We’ve got to keep those lines of communication open, so use whatever helps. Sometimes I’ll listen to music; other times I’ll read Scripture or a passage from a book; often I will journal; maybe I’ll go for a run; then there are days when all I need is silence and solitude and the rising sun. The point is simply to do whatever brings me back to my heart and the heart of God.

The discipline, by the way, is never the point. The whole point of a “devotional life” is connecting with God. This is our primary antidote to the counterfeits the world holds out to us.

(Wild at Heart , 171-172)

All Men Die, Few Men Truly Live

Posted in God's Word, Life on May 11, 2011 by gregbashore

The most dangerous man on earth is the man who has reckoned with his own death. All men die; few men ever really live. Sure, you can create a safe life for yourself . . . and end your days in a rest home babbling on about some forgotten misfortune. I’d rather go down swinging. Besides, the less we are trying to “save ourselves,” the more effective a warrior we will be. Listen to G. K. Chesterton on courage:

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die. “He that will lose his life, the same shall save it” is not a piece of mysticism for saints and heroes. It is a piece of everyday advice for sailors or mountaineers. It might be printed in an Alpine guide or a drill book. The paradox is the whole principle of courage; even of quite earthly or quite brutal courage. A man cut off by the sea may save his life if he will risk it on the precipice. He can only get away from death by continually stepping within an inch of it. A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine.

(Wild at Heart , 169)

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted in God's Word, Life on May 5, 2011 by gregbashore

‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

A New Covenant

Posted in God's Word, Life on February 10, 2011 by gregbashore

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezek. 36:26-27)

Moving On

Posted in God's Word, Life on January 22, 2011 by gregbashore

Last spring I read a book called “Fathered by God”. It was absolutely amazing and hit home for me in a way that rarely ever happens. While reading that book last spring/summer I have never felt more connected to God. I was riding such a spiritual high while I journeyed through that book that I actually felt saddened when I was done reading it. I didn’t really know what to do next. While I read it I never really applied it to my life in a way to keep fostering change once the book had ended.  It stirred up a lot of questions but I never really took the time to come face to face with those questions.

So that’s what I am doing now. At the beginning of the book, it is encouraged to reread the book a second time and to follow a workbook written to go with the book itself. So that is what I am going to do. I have never really been one to do “homework” as a why to get close to God. It always seemed to “Sunday school” for me. But the workbook is intentionally written in a way to try to avoid that. Its not written as a lesson plan to be completed in so many weeks. But as a map to help guide you along the journey laid out in the book.

So here is to my new experience. I’m hoping to read through the life of David as I do this study as a way to see Biblical application of the message trying to be learned from the book. So here is to the next stage of the journey. I will try to update on here as much as possible this process, but at the same time it is a little more personal then anything I have ever done and the goal is to strengthen my one on one relationship with God, so we’ll see how it goes.